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Wife vs. Secretary (1936)

Passed | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 February 1936 (USA)
The wife of a publishing executive mistakenly believes that her husband's relationship with his attractive secretary is more than professional.

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Norman Krasna (screen play), John Lee Mahin (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Van Stanhope
Jean Harlow ... Helen (Whitey) Wilson
Myrna Loy ... Linda Stanhope
May Robson ... Mimi Stanhope
George Barbier ... J.D. Underwood
James Stewart ... Dave
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Joe
Tom Dugan ... Finney
Gilbert Emery ... Simpson
Marjorie Gateson ... Eve Merritt
Gloria Holden ... Joan Carstairs
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Storyline

Magazine publisher Van Stanhope is a hard-working, dynamic executive very happily married to his beautiful wife Linda. Although their relationship is is built on unconditional trust, friends caution her about the dangers of allowing Whitey, her husband's extremely sexy secretary, to continue to have access to him. Even Van's mother warns Linda that Van's father philandered during their marriage, and Van, like all men, will eventually succumb to opportunity and temptation. Although Whitey has a faithful boyfriend, she secretly harbors unrequited feelings for her boss. When they take business trip to Havana, circumstantial evidence convinces Linda that the rumors she's heard may have a basis in fact. Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wife Versus Secretary See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$519,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of one of the screenwriters, Alice Duer Miller, is seen as the author of an article in a magazine, and Clark Gable remarks, "Hey, Alice has written a very nice article here." See more »

Goofs

When Whitey and Van are working late in the hotel room, Van sits on the edge of the bed. After Whitey tells him to watch the papers strewn on the bed he begins to sit in the middle of the bed. As the scene continues he is shown sitting on the foot of the bed. See more »

Quotes

Van: Who won the fight?
Simpson: Rosenblaum. In the third round.
Van: He did? I owe Finny a night off.
Simpson: Well with your night off and my three dollars, Finny should do quite well.
Van: You too? Maybe we should get rid of Finny.
See more »


Soundtracks

Ay-Ay-Ay
(uncredited)
Written by Freire
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I'm the best, aren't I?"
3 July 2006 | by mik-19See all my reviews

This is a perfect little film, absolutely well-rounded and exquisite. Beautifully scripted, intelligently directed, ebulliently acted.

Clark Gable is the successful publisher, newly married to society lady Myrna Loy who, although very modern and not jealously disposed, begins to suspect that he is carrying on an affair with his bleach-blonde secretary, Jean Harlow. As Gable's mother states, laconically of her son, "You wouldn't blame a boy for stealing a piece of candy".

All fluff, right? Light as air, unsubstantial? Of course it is, it takes masters of their craft to make this plot stick, to make the movie plain unforgettable. Gable was never better, he seems to relish every second he is on screen, and there is none of the masculine stiffness about him that his worst performances have. He is a joy to watch with the always delightful Loy, their scenes together bristle and self-combust, and they are a really sweet, engaging couple. Loy has to be the most sophisticated creature ever to be filmed, she is SO cool and contemporary ("I'm the best, aren't I?", she says with just the slightest sardonic hint.) Harlow isn't given as much to work with, and she has to downplay her sassy sexiness in order not to tip the scales. But she is still almost all Harlow, and they go as far as they possibly could under the Production Code. The scene with Harlow and Gable in the Havana hotel room is all about sex, as we are left in no doubt.

So, watch it and love it. It is as perfect a piece of 30's film-making as you are likely to see.


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